Discover more from Indie Kids Books
Recover Your PDF
The software that can hack your pdf and give your files back.
Recently, a friend told me she was in trouble. She had hired someone to do the layout and design of her short chapter book. What she received were pdf files.
Great. She uploaded the files and sold books, until one fateful day, she looked through the book and realized that she had numbered the chapters incorrectly. She needed to make a correction.
But the designer was no where to be found.
And all she had was the pdf. When you open a pdf file in Adobe Acrobat or any other program, it only gives you one layer, a flat file that can’t be edited.
But I recently had a reason to use the Affinity Publisher program. When it opens a pdf, it hacks the pdf, giving you editable layers. Sometimes, the layers are slightly off and need to be re-edited. But you can edit anything you need. It’s a stand alone program that retails for $54.99. (Look for discounts, as they often put the program on sale.)
My friend sent me her pdf file and five minutes later, I had it corrected and sent back.
If you need to edit a pdf, the Affinity Publisher can easily do the job. Have you tried it? How else do you recover an editable file?
EDITED TO ADD: Aaron Shepard adds this:
You can also do touch-up editing in Adobe Acrobat Pro (or whatever it's called now). There's a tool in the Pro version that lets you select text and change it, as long as the characters you want are in a font that's embedded in the document. It's very limited, allowing only line-by-line editing, but it's perfect for a minor edit like changing chapter numbers. And you wouldn't have to worry about the app making other, undesirable changes in the document. Of course, most self publishers wouldn't have that app, so Affinity would make more sense for most. It's important to note that Affinity has two import options for PDF. One makes the document more completely editable, while the other gives priority to maintaining the current layout. For a minor edit, the second option is what you'd want. That would be especially true if you started with InDesign, because its typography is much superior to Affinity's. (InDesign justifies paragraph-by-paragraph, while Affinity justifies only line-by-line.)
Indie Kids Books is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.